A network of African American leaders and global pro Africa activists – involving business, clergy and government leaders as well as other stakeholders – are organizing a mass return to Africa in the Fall of 2019. In a vibrant call for the rise and empowerment of Africa with the displaced diaspora playing a role, this brewing movement is organizing grass roots coalitions to mobilize descendants of slaves and other Africans to journey back to the Motherland as an acknowledgement of 400 years of African captivity.
The group includes key leaders like New York’s economic activist Rev. Dennis Dillon; actor Ron Kunene, an original cast member of The Lion King; Dr. Arikana Chihombori, African Union Ambassador to the United States; Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams; Hon. Johnny Ford, former mayor of Tuskegee and co-founder of the World Conference of Mayors; Dr. Ron Daniels, community organizer and president of Institute of The Black World 21st Century; Jean Pierre Mbassi, general secretary of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa; Melvin Foote, president of Constituency for Africa; bestselling author and business networking guru Dr. George Fraser; Dr. Julius Garvey, medical doctor and son of Marcus Garvey; celebrity travel executive Rose Aiello; Emmy Award producer and public relations executive, A. Curtis Farrow; and Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and a lead strategist in the reparations movement.
“This initiative represents the journey ahead, the way forward to a rising Africa, and a season of hope, healing and a redefined history for African people worldwide,” Rev. Dennis Dillon explained. “We are linking with hundreds of co-conveners and collaborators across Africa and around the world, and we firmly believe that this is the year, the decade of OUR RETURN!” Dillon contends.
In 1619, the first officially documented group of Africans were brought against their will to America and sold into servitude as involuntary laborers. This ushered in 400 years of subjugation that killed tens of millions of Africans through the brutal and demoralizing American Slave Trade – plunging millions of Africans into years of displacement, discrimination, denigration, and social and economic struggle.
After 400 years, Africa’s sons and daughters are coming home. This new initiative, dubbed “THE DOOR OF OUR RETURN,” is a strong reversal of The Door of No Return. “The idea of Africans uprooted from their homeland over hundreds of years with no hope of returning has endeared an estrangement that has caused great emotional, economic and psychological damage. This initiative is about healing, spiritual and economic redemption for Africa and African people,” the proposed plan indicates.
Viewed as a bridge to heal the divide and end the estrangement between Africa and the diaspora, organizers see this first phase as an opportunity to bring thousands of people from America and across the globe to Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria this year. The group will visit important heritage sites and engage in key summits that will bring together business, faith and government leaders for interactions and exchange. A stellar culminating celebration will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, and delegations from various African countries will attend and participate in a grand homecoming which will include a joint session with the Pan African parliament.
“We are purposeful in our mission to ignite the flames of economic growth, strengthen arts and cultural alliances, and flood Africa with tourism dollars coming from the Motherland’s own children – and the time is right,” Ron Kunene shared.
The Hon. Johnny Ford, the former mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama and president of the World Conference of Mayors, recounts his own experience visiting The Door of No Return: “It was a feeling of awe and a moment of introspection. Now after 400 years of slavery and African struggles in America, I am an energetic part of this massive movement of African descendants and children of the Motherland. The World Conference of Mayors supports THE DOOR OF OUR RETURN and encourages national organizations and the African diaspora to participate. Let’s return to Mother Africa and help create the Africa we want.”
“The African heads of state want all descendants of former slaves to know that they are welcome … Africa is our anchor, Africa is home, and you are free to come to Africa whenever you wish,” Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori expressed.
The newly formed DOOR OF OUR RETURN foundation has set forth 10 strategic accomplishments and has defined seven key areas of outgrowth in its over plan that it hopes will have a positive and transformative impact upon Africa and the global African community in the years to come.
Additional information is available through the organization’s website, www.DoorofOurReturn.org and by calling the national hotline at 646.657.2610. Travel arrangements can be made at DoorTravel.com or by calling 212.462.4700.
310 West 43rd Street – 7th Floor (bet. 8th & 9th Avenues)
New York, NY 10036
Saturday, May 18, 2019, 2:00 pm
Key leaders and stakeholders, African ambassadors and elected government leaders will participate and give insight about
THE DOOR OF OUR RETURN initiative